Sake, Socchu find a home in B'luru

Sake, Socchu find a home in B'luru

 Two of Japan’s oldest and traditional beverages are set to make their mark in India, starting Bengaluru. Toyota Enterprise, Okanaga, and The Chancery Group of Hotels through a tripartite agreement introduced Japanese rice wine ‘Sake’ and distilled potato beverage ‘Socchu’ in Bengaluru on Saturday.

Toyota Enterprise has been in business with Bengaluru-based Hyagreev Hotels, which runs The Chancery, since 2012. Taking the JV forward, Toyota Enterprises will bring Okanaga’s premium beverages to India through The Chancery Group of Hotels.

While there exist over 1,500 varieties of each of the beverages, the current launch will see the entry of Socchu brands ‘Tempai’, ‘Tekkan’ and ‘Noba’; and Sake brands ‘Ichinokura’, ‘Otokoyama’ and ‘Wakatake’, in India. As part of their rollout plan, 1,600 litres of the beverages have been imported, about 20 per cent of the total Sake and Socchu imported into India, last year.

“We are not looking at the existing market, we are looking to create a distinguished premium market for our drinks,” said Kazuyuki Kawai, MD, Toyota Enterprise. While there are a few brands in the Indian market already, what we bring to the table is a premium product unlike the others, he said.

The Chancery, home to the Japanese restaurant Matsuri, is set to offer a wholesome Japanese experience. Sake, as an accompaniment with food, is rather specific, said Eisuke Iida, MD, Okanaga. “Which Sake goes with which food, and which ones complement vegetarian food, is very important,” he said noting the large takers for vegetarian food in India.

“With this launch, we at Chancery are able to provide the complete Japanese experience,” said Pradeep Raju, director, The Chancery Group of Hotels. The Chancery hosts a portion of its rooms as per Japanese standards.  “This was the missing piece in the puzzle.”

He said the products will be positioned like tequila, as a shot, and also as fine wine to be served alongside food to suit contemporary as well as traditional palettes. The product has been priced in the range of Rs 6,000 – Rs 8,000 for a 1.8-litre bottle. Okanaga which has been in the business of brewery since 1985, exports ‘Sake’ and ‘Socchu’ to over 30 countries across the globe.

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